Donald Trump Releases 'Official Stand for the National Anthem Petition'

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"The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem", Trump said. A joint statement released by the NFL and the NFL Players Association described the meeting in NY as "productive".

US President Donald Trump has launched a petition targeting the NFL anthem protests, asking people to "show patriotism" by signing up to support standing during the national anthem.

Trump, however, has consistently called for any players who join the protests - which were started last season by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick - to be fired by their teams. Existing NFL policy says players "should" stand for the anthem but does not explicitly make it mandatory. "We agreed that these are common issues and pledged to meet again to continue this work together".

"We just had two days of conversations with our owners of which this was a fair amount of the conversation and I think our clubs all see this the same way", Goodell said on Wednesday, per USA Today.

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Trump has repeatedly expressed disdain for the protests since a rally in September.

This is latest move by Trump after calling out athletes, particularly NFL players, who are protesting police brutality and racial injustice by refusing to stand for the national anthem.

The president has called the protests disrespectful, and has urged supporters to walk out of games when players kneel during the anthem. "We did not ask for that", Goodell said. "What we try to do is deal with the underlying issue and understand what it is that they're protesting and try to address that matter".

He assured that the National Football League did not want to " not do politics", considering that the topics of protest were " complex ". McNally said, "Disrespect for our national anthem is never welcome".

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